WCA Climate Change Position

The World Coal Association (WCA) represents members who are industry leaders and committed to playing an active, constructive role in meeting the global challenge of climate change.

Paris Agreement

The WCA recognises the objective of the Paris Agreement of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”.

The WCA believes the credibility of the Paris Agreement lies in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that countries submitted in the lead-up to COP21 and that will be reviewed and updated at COP26 in 2020.

The climate pledges ensure that emissions reductions as part of global climate objectives are integrated with national development objectives, including economic development and energy security. All sectors of the economy will need to take action on climate change to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

The WCA has worked with countries that have outlined a role for coal in their NDCs, providing policy support to encourage the deployment of low emission coal technologies as a key facet of meeting their individual climate goals.

Pathway towards zero emissions

Multiple independent forecasts show that coal will continue to play a significant role in the energy mix for decades to come, particularly in developing and emerging economies in Asia and Africa.

Solutions to climate change will come through technological change and action on all low emission technologies.

There is a pathway towards zero emissions from coal, which starts with high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal technologies and progresses to carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS).

We need greater action and commitment to accelerate the deployment of CCUS globally to ensure we meet the targets set in the Paris Agreement.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), all pathways to well below 2°C rely heavily on carbon removal technologies, including CCUS. In fact, a third of the incremental emission reductions to go from 2°C to 1.5°C will need to come from deployment of CCUS in a variety of applications.

The WCA has called on governments to move quickly to support CCUS deployment by promoting policy parity alongside other low emission technologies. In its report ‘Driving CCUS deployment: The pathway to zero emissions from coal’, the WCA called for an international commitment on CCUS and action to advance its deployment across various sectors, including electricity generation, industrial applications and bioenergy.

WCA has an active role

As an active participant in climate change forums and negotiations, we support the global movement to reduce emissions, thereby mitigating against the potential impacts of climate change.

Our commitment to progress is evident in our work programme, which covers a range of issues encompassing clean coal technologies, environmental protection and sustainable development.

The WCA members, together with partners, both public and private, actively seek to support HELE technologies and advance CCUS deployment globally.

Looking ahead, it will be vitally important that implementation of the Paris Agreement integrates environmental imperatives with all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including universal access to energy and social and economic development, alongside energy security considerations.

WCA holds:

  • Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC)
  • Observer status with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Observer Status with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Membership of the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network (UNCTCN)
  • Membership of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB)
  • Signatory status to the UN Global Compact (UNGC)
  • Association membership of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)
  • Memoranda of Understanding with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, ASEAN Centre for Energy and Bettercoal